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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Culture Currents

Cultural happenings in SF and beyond.

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Giving for greatness

“Greatness is born out of the grind. Embrace the grind,” said Robert F. Smith, the billionaire technology investor, in his speech to the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse University on May 20, 2019, announcing he is paying off the student loans of 396 Morehouse graduates.

Master Photographer David Johnson returns to his roots

Johnson is an important chronicler of African American life in San Francisco during the mid-20th century.

Reviving the family dinner

For kids with trauma from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as abuse, divorce or neglect, such anchoring rituals are especially important. “Family dinners provide a ritual that is so tremendously important and comforting."

Save Reid’s Records!

Reid’s Records is not closed – but it needs your business and support NOW! Otherwise, the iconic and beloved Reid’s Records, one of the few Black business remaining in Berkeley, will be closing it doors Oct. 19, after 75 years of serving South Berkeley’s and the Bay Area’s Black communities since 1945!

SF Black Film Fest’s headliner ‘Robeson Effect’ features Danny Glover, who’ll be in attendance

Two legendary thespians from Hunters Point and Fillmore, Ben Guillory and Danny Glover, are coming home with a film about their lives in theater. This is our story, and it is better to get history from the mouths of the people who made it.

‘Guitar Man’ opens SF Black Film Fest, featuring Rappin 4-Tay and hosted by D’Wayne...

The opening film for the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year is the much anticipated award winning “Guitar Man.” The main character, Buzzy Martin, taught music to prisoners at San Quentin and later took those experiences back to the at-risk youth that he taught and still teaches to this day.

Wanda’s Picks for June 2019

Happy birthday to the June Geminis and Cancers. Happy Solstice and safe travels to all those Returning to the Motherland this 400 Year Anniversary Celebration and Remembrance.

The Haitian art documentary ‘Out of Chaos’ screens Sunday at SF Black Film Fest

As I was preparing my sculptures for the opening of the biennale, I documented life in the ghetto for myself, and then expanded on it by interviewing multiple Haitian artists – those notable and prosperous, those successful but still poor – in my mission to fathom what sustains them despite the daily hardships of life in Port au Prince.

White supremacy is the white man’s affirmative action

As if white people didn’t have enough privileges – for instance, never having to justify that you belong, like getting lost in an upscale neighborhood and not having the cops called on you and never experiencing being profiled by the cops for driving a certain kind of a car they think is out of your price range.

Bring our courageous elders home, now!

Thousands of people are losing their lives and livelihoods around our planet – from Mozambique to Missouri – due to intense storms, record wind speeds and massive flooding in areas that should not have been developed and other catastrophes caused by the corporate-for-profit-accelerated climate chaos.

‘Belonging in the USA: The Story of Michael D. McCarty’

“Belonging in the USA: The Story of Michael D. McCarty” is the story of a Black man who fought on the side of the people, right alongside one of the most legendary leaders to organize and make Panther rhetoric practical, and Michael lived to be able to talk about it.

‘Lalo’s House,’ where foreigners exploit Haitian children

“In Haiti, more than 750 privately run and unregulated institutions host an estimated 30,000 children, of which 80 percent are not orphans. In these unregulated conditions, children can be more susceptible to trafficking and other forms of physical and sexual abuse.”

‘Birth of Afrobeat’

“Birth of Afrobeat” is a masterfully configured story about the Pan African music genre that was born in Lagos but of parents from Nigeria and the U.S., since Max Roach, James Brown and the Black Panthers also had an influence on its birth.

‘Unalienable Rights’: Gripping documentary on the revolutionary MOVE family of Philadelphia

Philly police commenced to tear-gassing the [MOVE] house, shooting up the house, bulldozing the house with people and animals in it, then flooding the house with a fireman’s water hose. Then a cop gets shot, which many believe was from friendly fire.

‘Soar Torian Soar’: Torian’s mother speaks for a ‘sea of grieving mothers’

While Till’s death sparked a revolutionary movement when African America saw visually what hatred of Black people produced, Torian’s death is the other side of the loss. It is what this mother, these brothers, this community, need to do to heal.

‘Soar, Torian, Soar’: Homage to profound human suffering

Menchini’s skillful videography combines with Candy Corn’s up-close-and-personal footage to give her that respectful space in which to feel. In a series of moments of pure empathy, Audrey and the viewer – including myself – deeply connect. The result is emotional and compelling.

The Teddy Pendergrass doc ‘If You Don’t Know Me’ screens on Friday June 14...

I felt that Teddy wasn’t recognized and remembered as well as he should be and that there was an extraordinary tale here not just of a musical talent, but also of tremendous triumph over adversity – his story feels almost Shakespearean.

The San Francisco Black Film Festival XXI Tribute to Jeff Adachi

The San Francisco Black Film Festival’s 21st anniversary season runs June 13-16, kicking off with a media preview, briefing and tribute to the late Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender and filmmaker, on June 12, 4-6 p.m. Kali O’Ray and Katera Crossley, SFBFF Festival co-directors want to honor a friend to the festival, whose work, “America Needs a Racial Facial,” debuted in 2016.

‘The United States of Paranoia’

The 15-minute political satirical comedy, “The United States of Paranoia,” by writer and director Rashan Castro is one of the crown jewels of the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year. Halfway through and thousands of police shootings and racial attacks into the Trump presidency, this film could not have picked a more relevant time to debut.

Live music, dancing nuns, singing bandits in ‘Sister Act, the Musical’ – closing June...

Theatre Rhinoceros, the longest running LGBT theatre anywhere, has a winner on its hands with “Sister Act, the Musical,” directed by Aejay Mitchell, who also choreographed the work, musical direction by Tammy Hall. The run is a short three weeks, Wednesday-Saturday, 8 p.m., Saturday, also 3 p.m., through June 1, 2019, at the Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson St., San Francisco.

Latest News

Michigan: The Good Time Bill myth

If Michigan state legislators really want to pass a bill that effectively reduces the current population inside jam-packed state prisons (TIS), they should introduce a bill, or bills, that simply repeals disciplinary time, as enacted back in 1998.

Biden his time

Do you elect someone who has failed you for decades, again, again – and again?

One year later, National Prison Strike demands manifest in presidential proposal

Every one of the [National Prison Strike] demands is addressed in Bernie Sanders’ criminal justice reform plan.

Mothers challenge SFUSD: ‘They treat my daughter like a criminal because...

Shonte insists that this incident is part of an ongoing saga of discrimination and profiling by Ida B. Wells staff and alleges that her daughter was targeted and had been searched over a dozen times the previous year.

#StokersSoWhite: 2016 Horror Writers’ Association boycott

“'Beloved' would have been considered gothic horror if it had been written from a white character’s point of view by a white author.”